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Alum Has a Green Thumb for Making Old Look New Again


Danielle Sigwalt sitting among some of her reused furnishings.

Mason alumnus and reduce, reuse, and recycle advocate Danielle Sigwalt, BA English ’99, has no qualms when it comes to taking home a lightly used piece of furniture she spots in front of a neighbor’s home.

“My son will tell me, ‘There’s a good one, mom. Let’s go get it!’” she says. “He’s big into it just like I am.”

What exactly Sigwalt is “big into” is breathing new life into aging furniture, clothing, and other items she finds mostly online by restoring them to pristine condition—all in the name of going green! She recently launched a new blog, Fresh Quince [2], where she is spreading the word on how to find beauty in other people’s castaways.

“Style does not have to be bought brand new,” she points out.

The idea for her new venture came while working for an interior designer and discovering she “liked the green side” of the industry. So, after leaving the job, she decided to marry her loves of writing, design, and sustainability.

On Fresh Quince (quince is Sigwalt’s favorite shade of green), she gives tips on using Craigslist [3] to search out must-have pieces. She also features some of her favorite used items that she comes across online.

“I know so many people who don’t understand Craigslist,” she says. “But it’s a great way to create style without buying new.”

Because of her blog, Sigwalt, whose Arlington, Va., home is adorned in reused furniture and accessories, has been able to branch out into in-person consulting, as she recently landed two clients interesting in reducing their footprints on the world.

So far, green has been good for Sigwalt.

“This has been a lot of fun,” she says.